Listen to, watch, or read select talks sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program at your convenience!

Ancient Antisemitism Reconsidered

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Judea Capta CoinAvi Avidov, Beit Berl College, Israel

September 30, 2014

What is antisemitism and how long has it been with us? Given that the term itself is coinage from late 19th century, can we find validity in its applications to more or less similar phenomena in earlier periods? If we assume that some unique traits of this particular form of out-group hatred justify such a procedure, why have the Jews, of all people, remained at the at the receiving end in this unique and repeated fashion throughout the ages?  Avidov, the author of Not Reckoned Among Nations: The Origins of the So-Called Jewish Question in Roman Antiquity, explains the emergence and persistence of antisemitism by focusing on structural similarities of the Jews’ position within the larger socio-political entities into which they repeatedly failed to integrate fully.

Sponsored by the Classics Department, the Religious Studies Department, and the Jewish Studies Program.

Diversity on the Israeli Street: Sesame Workshop’s Rechov Sumsum Project

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Sivan and Avigail Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has worked with local production teams to develop over 30 different adaptations of the acclaimed children’s media program, Sesame Street. This presentation offers a window into the process of creating Rechov Sumsum, the award-winning Israeli version of the series.  A producer and an educator, each of whom have been a part of the Sesame Street process for over 20 years, walk participants through Sesame Workshop’s production methodology and its specific application in Israel. The presentation includes a screening of video content from the series’ decades-long history and highlights the ways in which messages about the diversity of Israeli society are incorporated into program content and design. The presenters also discuss evidence from research about the educational effects of the program and its focus on diversity.

Part of the Jewish Studies Program’s Perspectives on Israel series, made possible in part by the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project, directed by the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Support for the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project is generously provided by Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.  Co-sponsored by the Education Department and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.  Image TM and © 2014 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

An Enduring Peace: Egypt-Israel Relations in Historical Perspective

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Sadat on the cover of Time MagazineJohn Turner, Colby College

April 7, 2014

The peace treaty of 1979 between Egypt and Israel is of lasting importance to the Middle East and the world. How was it achieved and why does it endure? Prof. Turner offers historical context for understanding the continuing interactions between the two countries.

A Perspectives on Israel event, made possible in part by the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project, directed by the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS). Support for the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies Project is generously provided by Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.

States, Regimes, Revolutions, Counter-Revolutions–How Can We Find Our Way in the Middle East of 2013?

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Ephraim HalevyThe Annual Lipman Lecture in Jewish Studies

Ephraim Halevy, Former Director of the Mossad

October 2, 2013

Ephraim Halevy directed Israel’s national intelligence agency from 1998-2002 and has also served as chairman of Israel’s national security council.  He played a pivotal role in bringing about Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan.

Sponsored by the Lipman Family; co-sponsored by the Jewish studies program and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.

Will the Real Biblical God Please Stand Up?

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Marc Brettler

The Compagna-Sennett Lecture in Religious Studies

Marc Brettler, Brandeis University

September 16, 2013

Who is God?  Good question.  Throughout history people around the world have been willing to sacrifice their lives, and end of the lives of others, in the name of the divine.  But what does the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) actually say about what God is like and how the divine operates in the world?  Come explore the many faces and facets of God presented in the Hebrew Bible, and how the multiple renderings of God might impact how we view the Bible as a whole.

Marc Zvi Brettler, the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University, is an award-winning teacher and author.  He has written and co-edited numerous books, including The Jewish Study Bible and, most recently, The Bible and the Believer: How to Read the Bible Critically and Religiously. 

This event, made possible by the Association for Jewish Studies Distinguished Lectureship Program, was co-sponsored by the religious studies department and Jewish studies program.

Vichy France and the Jews: Shield or Traitor?

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Robert O. PaxtonThe Annual Berger Holocaust Lecture

Robert O. Paxton, Columbia University

April 5, 2012